Motorists who use dashcams while driving are being urged to avoid posting any footage from the cameras to social media.

Road safety experts at Road Angel are urging drivers to think twice about posting dashcam footage online regardless of how many followers or views social media users think they’ll gain if they post it.

Posting the footage could have serious legal consequences.

How is dashcam footage used by police forces in the UK?

One in five vehicles in the UK are fitted with dashcams, according to Road Safety GB, and the police frequently use video footage from the devices to prosecute for a range of offences.

Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter: Motorists shouldn't upload dashcam footage to social media platforms if they want to avoid serious consequencesMotorists shouldn't upload dashcam footage to social media platforms if they want to avoid serious consequences (Image: Getty Images)

Tens of thousands of road users now submit footage of dodgy driving directly to police forces where it is used as evidence to help convict offenders.

So much so that police forces up and down the country have set up Operation Snap in response to the ever-increasing submissions of video and photographic evidence from members of the public in relation to road traffic offences, according to Lancashire Constabulary and West Mercia Police.

Offences of Dangerous Driving, Driving without Due Care and Attention, Careless Driving, using a mobile phone, not wearing a seat belt, contravening a red traffic light and contravening solid white lines will all be investigated by Operation Snap, according to Bennetts.

Other offences where the driver is clearly not in proper control of the vehicle will also be investigated.

If the police decide to proceed with punishing a driver caught on camera, the footage from dashcams can also be used as a witness statement.

Why should drivers avoid uploading dashcam footage to social media?

With a growing proportion of road users collating footage of law-breaking through their dashcams, the Crown Prosecution Service has warned recorders not to upload their footage to social media.

If the clips are used as evidence to prosecute, the footage should not be in the public domain because it could adversely affect subsequent proceedings.

There is a risk of infringing the privacy rights of individuals that are recorded and the data protection law if the footage is uploaded to social media platforms.

Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter: Dashcam footage can be used by police to prosecute driversDashcam footage can be used by police to prosecute drivers (Image: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire)

Individuals who feel that their data protection rights have been breached could file a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) which may hand out hefty sanctions and fines.

Gary Digva, founder of Road Angel said: “Dashcams are extremely useful devices for motorists, and can help them to gather evidence and information for both insurance companies and the police if there is an accident.

“However, if you do capture an incident on your camera, you should think twice before uploading any footage to social media.

“Doing so could risk infringing the data protection rights of recorded individuals, even if they were driving dangerously.

“Posting the footage online without the consent of all involved can be seen as a violation of privacy and could easily interfere with legal proceedings, meaning the evidence could be scrapped and the case closed as a result.

“It’s best not to share any of the footage with anyone bar the police who will exclusively use it for court proceedings.”